Subtitle: I don’t understand why more schools don’t use social media.
Mornings have never been my favorite time of day. As of late, of course, they have become more problematic.
But I thought — I thought — I was doing okay this morning.
Granted, I didn’t wake up until 7 a.m., but I’m making up hours as I go along at work anyway. So I figured I’d just suck it up, and even drop the kids off at their respective schools.
It is Flora’s last day of preschool at St. J’s. I actually managed to put a barrette in her hair to keep it out of her face, so I felt on top of things.
Not so much.
Now I am not the most attentive of mothers, and by that I don’t mean I ignore my children. I just… I don’t have baby books; I don’t have scrapbooks (although I have lots of scrap); I don’t save every single piece of art and school work that they have ever done (probably one out of every, oh, 15-20?). I try to be good about taking lots of pictures and video, but mileage varies.
But when it comes to school stuff? I downright suck.
On the plus side, I seldom (never say never) forget to send my children to school without food. I pack pretty healthy lunches of stuff they like; Flora gets a snack and a drink box for preschool three days a week. When it’s their birthdays, I send in cookies (usually of the Eat’n Park variety; a baker I am not).
I am pretty good about permission slips for field trips Flora’s class goes on. I even usually take a day off to accompany her to the pumpkin patch around Halloween. (A field trip I will be going on for two more years, as Kate moves through St. J’s pre-k program.)
However, I am terrible about things like show and tell. Out of 10 months, I may remember to send something with Flora half of those. (Thank goodness they only have it once a month.) I completely spaced on school pictures this year (Dan saved our bacon there). And when stuff like baby photos are requested for the end-of-the-year DVD, you can bet I’ll forget about it.
To top things off, I dropped Flora off this morning at 8:10 a.m.
She didn’t have to be a school until 9.
I did not have a clue.
And do you know why?
Because I do not read paper.
I just don’t.
Flora comes home three times a week with her backpack filled with paper. Drawings she’s made, letter papers, school “work”, and, yes, class newsletters, calendars, permission slips, and so on.
I glance at most of this, tack the monthly calendar on the bulletin board, decide if I’m going to hang anything on the ‘fridge, and throw out everything else.
I am an connected mommy, a social media mommy. I read emails; I read tweets; I have a blog.
Schools would serve parents like me much, much better if they had active blogs, Twitter and/or whatever-is-replacing-Ning accounts (Facebook is too big for private K-8 schools, I think), and used emails.
Am I alone? Am I alone in having schools that don’t do this?
I understand that resources is an issue — probably THE issue. I’d be running my daughter’s school’s social media program… if they could pay me. Alas, they cannot (they almost closed this year, as a matter of fact), and I’m simply not in a position to quit my job and volunteer to do it.
I consulted (for free) with the volunteer who does run their marketing “department”. We actually — she, rather — did set up a Ning account for the school looking toward boosting enrollment and fundraising activities. We also talked about changes to the schools’ Web site to make it more interactive, and even about blog possibilities the school should explore (providing they stay open).
She was told to pull the Ning site down — which is a whole ‘nother post.
My point is: I don’t read paper, but I would read emails or Tweets. Given the proper time and incentive, I would even pursue that more with the school, because I am sure I am not the only one. (Well, I was the only parent there before 9 a.m. this morning, and that may have as much to do with the fact that I don’t usually do the morning drop-off, so it’s something my husband may have been told, and failed to pass the info along.)
What do you think? Should even small schools actively pursue engaging parents through social media? (I say, resoundingly, yes.) If cost is an issue, how should schools address that? Should I talk more to schools in my area about budgeting for it and/or how to use their current resources (i.e. office administrators, teachers to blog, etc.)?
Or should I start reading paper?